AFTER what seems an interminable campaign season, we Americans have finally arrived at what is the most consequential US mid-term election in recent history.
The polls have tightened to forecast a good night for Republicans, conforming to the convention that the party in power gets their comeuppance.
3Mid-term results will turn Sleepy Joe Biden into a lame duck president, writes Lee CohenCredit: APIn this case, such retribution for the Democrat party of Joe Biden is well-deserved — his time in office so far has been catastrophic in terms of both prosperity and security.
Crime rates are increasing, inflation is soaring and recession looms.
And considering the perception on the global stage of impotent and incompetent “Sleepy Joe”, a good election result for Republicans should benefit not just the US but the world.
Unlike Britain’s parliamentary system, the US electoral calendar is more fixed. Our President is elected every four years.
But every two years we also go to the polls to elect our version of MPs for the House of Representatives and the Senate — the two chambers of our law-making body called Congress.
Senators are elected for six years while those in the House of Representatives face voters every two years. When these elections happen in the middle of a Presidential term they are called mid-terms.
For a President in their first term, these elections offer a kind of referendum on how well they are doing.
Currently, Democrats command the levers of power in Congress, with a razor-thin majority.
Polls suggest Biden is on course to lose seats, with Republicans’ taking control of the House of Representatives. The Senate could also fall to Republican control.
Biden’s power to get anything done would be vastly reduced and he would become, if he continues to ride out the next two years of his term, a lame duck president. How did this happen? In short, Biden’s domestic performance has been grim.
Prolonged Covid lockdowns, mismanagement of supply chains, wasteful tax and spend projects pushing debt to the trillions and catastrophic energy policies have all resulted in skyrocketing inflation.
Furthermore, Biden’s kowtowing to his party’s most extreme, progressive agendas have penalised law enforcement, stoked violent crime, created an unprecedented migrant crisis on our southern border and inflamed racial tensions at a time when Biden campaigned to unite the country.
Americans are also put off by his increasingly doddery, and at times worrying, demeanour.
The odd stumble is one thing — he is 80 later this month — but his grasp of facts is more alarming, even those he should know better than anyone. Again last week he told how his son, Beau, died in Iraq.
He passed away in Maryland, USA.
3While Trump went out of his way to advocate for a US-UK Free Trade agreement, Biden has given every signal that it is not a priority for his leadershipCredit: AFP3Whatever happens, it is clear that the US has been on a ruinous course since Biden has taken overCredit: GettyBiden’s administration has taken a robust stance against the anti-abortion lobby. But even that is being drowned out.
Democrat voters may despise the decision by half our states to outlaw or move to restrict abortion, but the cost-of-living crisis and their safety walking the streets is more front of mind.
Also, it is of no comfort to realise that Biden’s replacement — were he to step down or be removed — would be the inarticulate, ineffectual, invisible Vice President Kamala Harris, who is only ever subjected to softball questions by an indulgent, protective media.
On the world stage, Biden has also been a disaster. In successive misfires, he has emboldened America’s enemies and scorned our closest friends, most notably, Britain.
First was the chaotic fall of Kabul to the Taliban in Afghanistan. The resulting exposure to danger of military, security forces and civilians, as well as the gifting of a formidable weapons arsenal to the Taliban, must be laid squarely at his feet.
Add to that the disgraceful, non-existent co-ordination with the UK — our stalwart fighting partner in so many of the most decisive global military conflicts.
Unlike the vocally pro-British Trump, Joe Biden, with his “I’m Irish” identity, has further spurned our closest ally by disdaining Brexit and constantly favouring EU interests, such as with the Northern Ireland Protocol.
While Trump went out of his way to advocate for a US-UK Free Trade agreement, Biden has given every signal that it is not a priority for his leadership.
So for all this, and more, many Americans will today decide that the answer to their problems is with the Republicans.
And what of the elephant in the room, Donald Trump?
His name is not on the ballot anywhere for these mid-terms, but as always, for better or worse, he is a constant presence.
And what happens today will likely embolden The Donald to run for President in 2024. He will regard any switch of power in favour of the Republicans as a vote for him. In the current battleground, Trump has been a king-maker, showering funds and casting his spotlight on his handpicked candidates.
Whatever happens, it is clear that the US has been on a ruinous course since Biden has taken over.
That, British cousins, is why these mid-term elections are so critical.Biden’s eventual Oval Office successor will have to pull the US back from the abyss wrought by his administration.
The next Congress and Biden’s successor in 2024 (whoever that may be) have their work cut out for them — and for Congress that work begins now.
Lee Cohen is a former adviser on Great Britain to the US House of Representatives’ Foreign Affairs Committee and founder of the Congressional United Kingdom Caucus.
Story Credit: thesun.co.uk